Climate change, population growth, urbanization and development in natural hazard-prone regions are exacerbating the effects of extreme weather and other disasters.
This Columbia World Project is further developing, testing and implementing an open-source model to more accurately forecast the risk of hurricanes and tropical cyclones, as well as the damage that they would likely cause for vulnerable communities.
It is estimated that $924 billion in insured losses resulted from tropical cyclones in the past decade. International organizations, governments, the private sector and financial institutions expend billions of dollars responding to such disasters, but the models they rely on to plan for and respond to such events suffer from significant limitations. Importantly, they generally fail to account for climate change; are not transparent about their methodology; and focus on risks for the insurance industry rather than on the damage that vulnerable communities will sustain.
For this project, Columbia researchers are partnering with the World Bank to broaden the understanding of the real consequences of natural disasters on the poor, breaking new ground in how damage is calculated. The project is also leveraging the insurance industry’s experience to improve the responsiveness of risk models to climate change.
The work is focusing on the Philippines, a country that is vulnerable to severe hurricanes and tropical cyclones, but with a broader goal of setting a new standard of openness, scientific rigor and community engagement in the field of disaster preparedness and response.
In Partnership With:
- Suzana Camargo (Columbia Climate School)
- Chia-Ying Lee (Columbia Climate School)
- Kyle Mandli (Fu Foundation School of Engineering)
- Adam Sobel (Fu Foundation School of Engineering)
- Michael Tippett (Fu Foundation School of Engineering)
- Mona Hemmati (Columbia Climate School)